Something that has been lost in the midst of all the different issues in this election year is finally achieving true equality for the LGBTQ population. The rights of LGBTQ individuals have always been near and dear to me. My brother, Shannon, is gay, and I have seen in him, the hardships and discrimination that still face the LGBTQ community today.
Our representatives will have a significant impact on what the next few years look like for the LGBTQ community living in North Carolina, and the Nation. While I applaud the recent court decision made by the U.S. Supreme Court to validate Same-Sex Marriage, we cannot simply stop there and feel as though we have reached equality.
There are large problems that are still forcing members of the LGBTQ to live as though they are not full citizens.
- A lack of non-discrimination protections in all areas. No matter what race, sexual orientation, or gender, everyone should have equal opportunities for employment, housing, credit, and service.
- Inadequate Legal Rights. This includes the ability to adopt a child from the United States; currently, there are very few options for parents who are of the LGBTQ community to expand their family. For same-sex adoptive parents, often the state only recognizes one parent as the legal guardian of a child, in spite of both parents raising and caring for the child. Additionally, we need to allow partners the ability to right of survivorship. Excluding these laws is unacceptable and hurtful to all parties involved.
- Lack of Support within the LGBTQ community by North Carolina Politicians. While there are many notable exceptions, the majority of politicians either oppose advancing or do not appear to consider LGBTQ to be a priority.
These steps must be taken in order to reach true equality for all. Equality is so important to the foundation of the United States, it is in the Constitution. It is about time we start living up to the ideal that “all men are created equal.”
It should be one of our primary goals to end the discrimination against all people, and to reach the true equality America wants and deserves.